Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to the Course

    • How to use this course

    • Before we get going...

    • Next steps

    • Course Community

    • Further Reading

  • 2

    Week 1: Introduction

    • Welcome to the course

    • Week 1: Introduction Meeting Recording, 23 May 2022

    • Toolbox - Week 1

    • The role of a consultant ecologist

    • What is it like to work for an ecological consultancy?

    • Introducing the consultant ecologist skills wheel

    • Submit your skills wheel

    • Week 1 Quiz

    • Weekly Q&A Sessions

    • Recording of Week 1 Q&A 27 May 2022

  • 3

    Week 2: Planning policy and legislation

    • Legislation in the UK

    • The Environment Act 2021

    • Planning Policy in the UK

    • Linking impacts of a project to legislation implications

    • Toolbox - Week 2

    • Preparing for Week 3 (on campus)

    • Recording from Live Q&A on 06 June 2022

  • 4

    Week 3: Skills Workshop (on campus)

    • Start the week: Overview of week 3

    • Toolbox - Week 3

    • Course Assignment - Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Report

  • 5

    Week 3: Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA)

    • Introducing the Preliminary Ecological Appraisal

    • Survey limitations

    • Health, Safety and Wellbeing considerations

    • PEA - The Desk Study

    • Habitat Classification Systems (with downloads)

    • Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey Methodology

    • UK Habitat Classification System Methodology

    • Assessment of Knowledge and Understanding of the PEA

  • 6

    Week 3: Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA)

    • The importance of bat conservation in the UK

    • Bat licences in the UK

    • Potential bat roost features in buildings

    • Potential bat roost features in trees

    • Potential bat roost features in other structures

    • Introduction to the criteria used in categorising a potential bat roost

    • Negligible and Low Bat Roost Suitability

    • Moderate Bat Roost Suitability

    • High Bat Roost Suitability and Confirmed Bat Roost

    • Test your learning (Preliminary Bat Roost Assessment walk-through)

    • Creating a training plan

    • Bat Training Logbook

    • Architectural terms (an introduction)

  • 7

    Week 4: An introduction to QGIS for ecologists

    • Course agenda

    • Toolbox - Week 4

    • Installing and configuring QGIS

    • Introduction to GIS file formats

    • Introducing the QGIS Interface

    • Coordinate reference systems

    • Introducing some of the basic tools

    • Exploring attribute tables

    • Symbology

    • Labels

    • Basic digitising

    • Advanced digitising

    • Quality control

    • Plotting coordinate data

    • Field Calculator

    • Introduction to queries

    • Print layout

    • Course consolidation

    • Course review

    • Resources

    • Weekly Q&A Sessions

    • Recording from Weekly Q&A session - 17 June 2022

  • 8

    Week 5: Report writing and impact assessment

    • Overview of the report

    • Introducing the ecological report

    • Getting the report right

    • Report template overview

    • The opening few pages of a report

    • Introduction pages

    • Legislation and planning policy pages

    • Methods or Methodology pages

    • Results pages

    • Discussion/Impact assessment pages

    • Recommendation pages

    • Conclusion, References and Appendices Pages

    • Summary pages

    • Test your learning

    • Weekly Q&A Session: 11.00am Start

    • Toolbox - Week 5

    • Course Assignment - Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Report

    • Week 5 Live Q&A Recording from 24 June 2022

  • 9

    Week 6: Career guidance

    • The important steps required to land a job as an ecological consultant

    • Creating a great CV

    • Creating a killer cover letter

    • Creating and maintaining an on-line profile

    • Toolbox - Week 6

    • Submit your CV for expert feedback

    • Weekly Q&A Sessions

    • Week 6 Live Q&A Recording from 01 July 2022

  • 10

    Final Messages

    • Before you go...

    • Reading List

    • Onward support

    • Further resources

Watch Intro Video

How this course benefitted me

Nairne McBeath

Social proof: testimonials

"Interesting and relevant"

Megan Knapp

I have thoroughly enjoyed partaking in the course. The modules in the course were interesting and relevant and were all separate. It was interesting to learn about the basics of what is needed to be an ecologist. My favourite module was module 3 which included the nitty gritty information such as bat roosting, PEA's and report writing. The course also covers planning policies, how to better your CV/cover letter and the essential and desirable skills to be an ecologist. We also have the opportunity to meet and speak (via zoom) to directors of other consultancies to see what they look for, what they expect from you and what it is like to work for them. I would recommend this course to people who are new to this sector and would like to widen their knowledge.

"I would definitely recommend this course"

Nairne McBeath

Overall this course provides valuable information concerning the before, during and after job application process. I would definitely recommend this course to like-minded individuals. The range of modules that are covered would suit a recent graduate, a junior ecologist, or someone who fancies a career change and wants to learn more about ecology from someone like Richard, whose expertise and breadth of knowledge within the ecology sector is exceptional.

"This course will put you on the right path"

Guy Ostler

To cut a long story short, this course has provided me with a roadmap with which to gain a career in ecological consultancy. When I started the course, I barely knew where to start as regards building skills that an employer would desire. Now, after taking the course, I feel I have a 'direction' to travel in, and have a focussed, targeted plan to put into action. An excellent course that I would hugely recommend to anybody looking to start a career in ecological consultancy.

"Wonderful grounding"

Chris Rhodes

This provided a wonderful grounding for understanding what is required to gain a role in ecological consultancy and how to do a good job once that goal is achieved.



Richard Dodd

I have worked as a professional ecologist since 2000 within the public, voluntary and private sectors. I'm Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Wildwood Ecology, an Award Winning 'purpose-led' Certified B Corporation company. I'm also a Chartered Ecologist and full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).